A day after United Steelworkers in South Milwaukee agreed to a new six-year deal with Caterpillar, reaction and details are coming in.
Check out coverage in the Business Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Wall Street Journal.
From the Business Journal …
Cheryl Maranto, Marquette University associate professor of management, was unsurprised it was a close vote, considering United Steelworkers Local 1343 made deeper concessions than the company.
“I think the fact that the company was willing to at least provide a few concessions was an important signal that it wasn’t just, ‘We have the power, we’re going to slam it down your throats,’” Maranto told me. “I still think it was probably a pretty bitter pill for workers to swallow, but I think the company was smart in giving enough to allow the union to save face and to enable them to kind of move on.” …
Caterpillar called it a “fair, reasonable and comprehensive agreement.”
This marked the first contract negotiation between the local union and Caterpillar since it acquired the former Bucyrus International Inc. for $8.8 billion in 2011. Caterpillar has a reputation for tough negotiations with its unionized factories.
“This would be a bad Bucyrus contract, but it’s one of the better Caterpillar contracts we’ve seen,” Winklbauer told me.
Also, the Business Journal is reporting the contract includes a provision not allowing Caterpillar to use temporary workers in South Milwaukee — “a significant win” for employees.
And the Winston-Salem Journal has a story on the Caterpillar annual meeting in North Carolina, including comments from the CEO.